Oops - ran Fusion and Parallels off Bootcamp at same time. Now borked?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by RedTomato, May 11, 2008.

  1. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    OK, I've searched on this as I'm sure it's been done before, but I couldn't find any thing.

    I have Windows XP in Boot Camp. I decided to try out VMWare Fusion and Parallels. Each seemed fine on its own, running off Boot Camp. Then I wondered if I could have two instances of Windows XP both running at the same time.

    So I fired up Fusion and Parallels at the same time, both running off Boot Camp.

    At first it seemed fine and I was well pleased, then within a few minutes, Windows collapsed into a shuddering twitching heap. Now neither will startup its windows virtual machine. Restarting my macbook in BootCamp gives me a startup error:

    "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

    <windows root>\system32\hal.dll

    Please re-install a copy of the above file"

    Is my Bootcamp utterly borked and needs to be reinstalled? Am surprised that both Parallels / Fusion are unable to detect if others programs are using Bootcamp at the same time.
  2. iMaccore2 macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    Boston, MA
    OK, first off, I need to say this. Boot Camp is an application. Bootcamp is not windows. You can run any os from boot camp. Ok that being said, Both Parrallels and Fusion were probably trying to read from the same file at the same time. Kinda like ripping a dvd and trying to watch it at the same time. Not really going to work. If all that is corrupted is that one file, and you have a windows machine other than your mac, go on the windows machine, do a search for the file, drag it onto a flash drive, and if you are able to access the installation of windows from osx, just open it up, find the location of the corrupted file, delete it and replace it with the new one. This should work unless this file is specific to every computer. Your installation is not working already, so take a chance, it might work. AND MAKE A COPY OF THE FILE ON YOUR XP MACHINE, DONT JUST DRAG IT ONTO THE FLASH DRIVE, BECAUSE THEN IT WONT BE ON THE XP MACHINE. ALSO MAKE SURE YOU ARE NOT JUST MAKING A SHORTCUT OF THE FILE

    ok im done

    I hope this helps

    good luck
  3. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    I had something similar having when I would run my Boot Camp partition in Parallels, but I didn't try running both like you did. I switched to Fusion and after reformatting it, NEVER run my Boot Camp partition in it. Works fine considering I only run Windows to play games, which I haven't had much luck with in Parallels or Fusion.
  4. chscag macrumors 68030


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Typical Windows Brain Dead message that really does not explain what the error is. :mad:

    The XP boot loader can't find hal.dll because either Parallels or Fusion screwed up your "boot.ini" file in the system root of Windows. From OS X open boot.ini (a hidden system text file in the root of drive C:) and make sure the loader is pointing to the correct partition.

    If you don't understand how to read or edit boot.ini, access the Microsoft Knowledge Base and do a search for "boot.ini".

    BTW, unless the boot camp partition is formatted to FAT-32 you're not going to be able to do any editing. If your boot camp partition is NTFS, you'll need a third party driver set such as MacFuse and NTFS 3G.

    Anyway, have fun repairing WinXP! :D

  5. jamesdmc macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2007
    I got this error message suddenly a couple of months ago as well. I wasn't trying to run Fusion and Parallels at the same time or any crazy sh*t like that. In fact, I hadn't even downloaded the trial of Fusion yet. This was Parallels only and I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary. To make a long story longer:D, after more than two hours of installing and reinstalling XP onto the BootCamp partition and STILL getting that error, I finally ditched BootCamp altogether. I installed Parallels, put in my xp disc, and installed xp through Parallels. It ran without problems* until I dropped Parallels for Fusion.


    *for some reason, Parallels and Quicken 2008 did not play well together. Fusion and Quicken work without any issues. Quicken for Windows is THE main reason I still run Windows, so Paralllels lost all usefulness at that point.
  6. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    OK many thanks to imaccore2 and chscag, between the two of you, I think I have enough info to either sort it out, or mark it as a dead install of XP.

    Imaccore2, you're right, it's an install of XP running on the BootCamp partition, I wrote the post in a hurry.

    I've made a virtual machine install of XP (not via Boot Camp) in Fusion, but found there's no snapshot manager. You get one snapshot, and that's it. As breaking OSes is something I do quite regularly :) I'm not very happy with Fusion as VMWare are a pro-level company, so I would expect a decent snapshot manager.

    I think I'll have to go with Parallels, and its snapshot manager, even though I've heard it's not as stable.

    Thanks to all the respondents here.
  7. neilhart macrumors 6502


    Oct 11, 2007
    SF Bay Area - Fremont
    Linux to the rescue!

    Hey I argee. I by nature am always trying something different and have run up on "HAL.DLL" error message and have found boot.ini partition numbers to be the cause. If your system allows you to boot to another Windows installation that can see the affected partition, you just edit that boot.ini and provide the correct partition number (two places).

    However, if you are on a a closed system such as a MBP and have this problem on the internal drive, one simple way to proceed is to boot to a ubuntu 8.04 Live CD. You can click on the BootCamp drive icon to open the system and then click on the boot.ini icon and choose "Display". The file will be opened in gedit and you can make the edits and save. Run shutdown and reboot to BootCamp.

    All of this takes for granted that you know how you got to this point and how many partitions are on the internal drive and which one is the BootCamp one. Usually the disk is GUID and has a 200MB EFI partition as #1, an partition for OSX as #2 and the BootCamp partition as #3. If you have done something to change this order as I have done several times, then you will need to make to edit to boot.ini as appropriate.

  8. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..

    I can edit the boot.ini no problem in OSX - you don't need Linux to do it. (I have Ubuntu running in a Fusion virtual machine, but I never used it)

    I searched through the BootCamp Windows partition from OSX, and found all the hal.dll files where they should be. Comparing them with the hal.dll files in my Fusion VM installation of XP shows them to be different sizes. That leads me to think they are hardware dependent files, so copying them over won't work.

    Here's my boot.ini file from c:/boot.ini (shows in OSX as BOOTCAMP/boot.ini)

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Parallels configuration" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptOut
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    This is after I did some editing on it. As far as I can see, it's correct for XP. The Parallels line is obviously rubbish so I'm just ignoring it.

    Before I made my changes, it booted into XP, loaded the desktop, then kernel faulted a few seconds later.

    With the above boot.ini, it boots very slowly into XP, gets to the desktop wallpaper, then hangs without showing icons, and without ever allowing any mouse movement. So I've made it slightly worse :eek:

    This thread


    suggest that Parallels seriously mucks about with hal.dll,

    so I conclude that Parallels is the culprit here. Will remove Parallels from my machine, and reinstall XP in Bootcamp.
  9. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Back again. On a whim, I just tried copying hal.dll over from the Fusion XP VM to the BootCamp installation. (hal = Microsoft Hardware Abstraction Layer)

    Result: XP boots to desktop, but icons appear for stuff that I'd installed in the VM XP but not in the BootCamp XP. Screen is wrong resolution, keyboard and mouse don't work. When boot is finished, XP hangs.

    Conclusion unchanged - will reinstall and avoid Parallels.

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